Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Twitter chef avatar fun: Emeril's homemade cheese hoppers!

Margaret picked our March chef for our Twitter avatar fun...I was really excited to see that it was Emeril Lagasse. One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was this cookbook that my kids (via my hubby, of course) got me. I've never cooked anything from Emeril before, but I was excited to have a kids' cookbook by a known chef. We own Pretend Soup and Salad People from Mollie Katzen, both of which we love, but I've found that a lot of other cookbooks geared toward little kids favor simplicity over quality and produce either tasteless or taste-bad food.

The first recipe I made from my new cookbook (There's a Chef in my Soup!) was cheesy star snacks.

One of my kids' very first snack foods was Annie's Honey Bunny Grahams. If you haven't experienced these, they taste like Teddy Grahams and look like little bunnies. We used to hop-hop-hop them across the table to the little guy when he was very small, and somehow he named them Hoppers...they've never lost this name. (In fact, while writing this paragraph, I actually had to go searching on the web to find the real name.) We still snack on normal Hoppers (the graham kind) and Cheese Hoppers (the baby girl's favorite).

This name is engrained in our family community...One of our good friends was at work and a coworker of his had a box of Annie's on her desk. He saw them and said, "Oh, can I have a few Hoppers?" I'm sure she looked at him like he was crazy.

Anyway, when I saw that Emeril had a recipe for cheesy star snacks, I knew I had to try them in the hope that they'd be homemade Hoppers.

Hubby and I found them addictive; eventually, I had to send the remainder to work with him so we'd stop eating them...but they didn't taste like our Hoppers...way too overly spiced for the kids.

Cheesy snacks (aka Cheese Hoppers)
adapted from Emeril Lagasse

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tsp baby bam (Emeril's spice mixture made of: paprika, salt, dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, celery salt)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
2 tbsp cold water
1 egg white

1. Mix flour, cheese, spices in a food processor fitted with the metal blade.
2. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Add cold water and pulse (or mix by hand) until mixture becomes a smooth dough.
4. Form dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough to a 1/8 inch thickness.
6. Cut the dough using tiny cookie cutters (about 1 inch). Gather up leftover scraps, reroll and recut.
7. Place cut out shapes on a baking sheet and paint with egg whites.
8. Bake in a 375F oven for 15 minutes.

Emeril includes a note at the end to experiment with different herbs and different cheeses. If I were to make these again with the children in mind, I would cut out the spices (or at least seriously reduce them) and just use cheese.


  1. Great story. =) Don't you love the things that kids come up with? They may have been too seasoned for the kids, but they sound really yummy to me.

  2. boys love spicey things and these look like perfect munchies for the upcoming NCAA March Madness ritual around here. Emeril was a great choice for the month of March, that's for sure!! Will give these a try, thanks!